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BHS Students Reach Out to OSF Cancer Patients

BLOOMINGTON - Bloomington High School students are busy making holiday gifts for others...
BLOOMINGTON - Bloomington High School students are busy making holiday gifts for others. And this cause means a lot to junior Michele Irwin.

"It's actually a really cool project for me, since they're going to a children's hospital. When I was eight, I had back surgery to actually save my ability to walk," said Irwin.

Students in Annemarie Steffen's class have been hard at work for days, putting together capes for kids with cancer at OSF Saint Francis.

"You don't know how long they're going to live, so they need something that can keep them happy," said Kailey Nussbaum, a junior.

"I want them to know that there are people out there, beyond their families, that we're thinking of them and we're hoping for the best," said Steffen.

The students' dedication to details shows their commitment to the children.

"There's like three different fabrics in it on mine and they're kind of hard to work with, but she always helps us and makes it easy to do," said Abby Raddenbach, a senior.

As they cut and connect their capes together, they're doing so to brighten the cancer patients' days.

"I made a cape for a little girl, and I just want her to think that she's a princess," said Nussbaum.

"You put a cape on anyone, they're going to think they're super human," said Steffen.

And even though they don't know who will receive them, they hope their actions can spark hope.

"I'm hoping some of the nurses could take some pictures and send them our way, without the names. It would be awesome to see," said Steffen.

And as she recalls her time of doubt, Irwin hopes her cape makes an impact this Christmas.

"Those little things, like the capes, make a world of difference to the kids in the hospital and it means so much to them. I'm so excited that I can give back in ways that people have given to me," said Irwin.

Once the students finish their capes, a senior literature class will write down the stories behind each one, before they're shipped to OSF. Students will also hold Caps for Kids Day on Friday, where they'll donate money to OSF in order to wear a hat in class.

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